Organizing Images, Malaysian Insects, Niagara Historical Museum, More: Wednesday Buzz, March 28, 2018


American Historical Association: Research Clutter: A New App Helps Create Order out of Disorder. “Tropy is a free, open-source desktop application designed to help researchers organize and describe the photos they take in archives in intuitive and useful ways. It allows users to group photos of research materials, annotate images, add metadata, export to other applications, and easily search their collections.”

Natural History Museum (UK): Malaysian insects digitised in international collaboration. “Museum digitisation specialists are working with Ecotourism and Conservation Society Malaysia (ECOMY). The team is aiming to digitise representative specimens for 5,000 species across a range of taxonomic groups. The focus will be on insects such as damselflies, dragonflies, praying mantids, grasshoppers, locusts, crickets, stick insects, moths and beetles. Data will be available to download via the Museum’s Data Portal, and a copy will also be stored in Malaysia.”

Niagara This Week: NOTL museum goes global on Google Arts and Culture. “The Niagara Historical Society & Museum is increasing its digital presence, having recently launched a profile on Google Arts and Culture. On March 20, the Niagara-on-the-Lake museum officially joined the online global platform, which currently features the likes of larger Canadian institutions such as the Art Gallery of Ontario, Royal Ontario Museum and the Canadian Science and Technology Museum. Assistant curator Shawna Butts says the Niagara Historical Museum is the first community museum to join the platform.”


CNN: Facebook data practices under investigation, FTC confirms. “The Federal Trade Commission confirmed in a statement Monday that it is currently investigating Facebook data practices as the company faces new scrutiny from the Cambridge Analytica scandal. ‘The FTC takes very seriously recent press reports raising substantial concerns about the privacy practices of Facebook,’ said Tom Pahl, acting director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. ‘Today, the FTC is confirming that it has an open non-public investigation into these practices.'”

Search Engine Land: Bing ‘intelligent search’ capabilities continue to expand, include facts from multiple sources. “Bing has announced several upgrades to its AI-powered intelligent search capabilities. Bing first launched intelligent search in December, bringing artificial intelligence to deliver richer search answers, and enhance image and conversational search.” Nice.

A big thanks to David D. on Twitter for hipping me to this. From Demand Progress: Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports To Become Publicly Available. “The Library of Congress will begin publishing Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports online within 90 days of enactment of the Omnibus, which passed the House this afternoon. The non-confidential non-partisan reports, issued by Congress’s think tank, provide an even-handed discussion of topical policy matters being considered by legislators. This will apply to approximately 3,000 reports annually.” I had mentioned this briefly last August but I hadn’t seen a progress report since.


The Guardian: What’s the best way to keep Windows programs up to date?. “I’ve been using Secunia since 2007. However, the Danish company was taken over by Flexera in 2015, and Flexera has now decided to drop PSI. The program is telling users: ‘On April 20, 2018, Flexera will be ending support life for PSI. On that day, PSI will no longer be functioning and should be uninstalled.'”

Hello Web Books: First free zine on command line basics has launched today!. “Over the last few weeks, I’ve been working on a little project to go along with the Kickstarter campaign for Hello Web App (one week left!) I’ve punted around the idea of releasing little mini-books or zines on small ideas, like pairing fonts or working with git. Today I’m releasing my first project, A Really Friendly Command Line Intro for MacOS! For free! This is a great addition to Hello Web App (and will be bundled with it moving forward). I walk through all the basic UNIX/command line commands that a beginner might need to learn when they start coding for the first time.” The graphic for the project notes that Linux and Windows versions are “coming soon”.


Ubergizmo: Pilots Suspended For Using Snapchat While Flying. “When you’re on a plane you’d probably want your pilot to do little else than just fly the plane. You wouldn’t really feel comfortable if they diverted their attention from that crucial task for a moment to do something else, such as making videos to post on Snapchat. That’s precisely what two EasyJet pilots did on a recent flight and they have seen been suspended by the airline.”


Techdirt: Twitter Nukes American Attorney’s Tweet About Unflattering Depiction Of Turkish President. “Kurdish-American activist and attorney Samira Ghaderi recently saw one of her tweets memory-holed in response to a Turkish court order. Now, it’s one thing when social media companies start geoblocking/vanishing posts originating in the country where the legal complaint was filed. It’s quite another when they allow Turkish law to take precedence over US law, which is what appears to have happened here.”


TechCrunch: The Linux Foundation launches a deep learning foundation . “The idea behind the LF Deep Learning Foundation is to ‘support and sustain open source innovation in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning while striving to make these critical new technologies available to developers and data scientists everywhere.’ The founding members of the new foundation include Amdocs, AT&T, B.Yond, Baidu, Huawei, Nokia, Tech Mahindra, Tencent, Univa and ZTE. Others will likely join in the future.”

The Register: Google lobbies hard to derail new US privacy laws – using dodgy stats. “As blowback against Facebook and its business model enters its third week, with netizens railing against the amount and type of personal data the social network has on them, calls for new privacy laws have started growing. And in response so has a secret lobbying effort, spearheaded by Google, to head those calls off at the pass.” Good morning, Internet…

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